Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Every time I clean the house now I feel compelled to take pictures to document it.

I've been converting the pantry into a mini sewing studio. Besides a tad bit of mending, I've been too busy with canning to sit down and sew anything, but I'll get there. Winter is coming!
I've been hanging a lot of boards with hooks to hold my often-used kitchen items.  I love having an exact place for important little items. 
I had to hang a shelf for more spice jar storage too! The jars are an odd assortment, but I make the labels on a typewriter in lowercase font so there's some consistency in the aesthetic.  
Dave and I are foraging into the land of fermented pickles! Dave whipped up this batch of hot dills, with garlic, jalapeno and habarnaro peppers. We let it sit for about two weeks, skimming off the top daily and low and behold, they worked! They taste amazing!!! Not too hot, but with a nice little punch to them. (that's a jar of beans weighing down the wooden plate that keeps the pickles submerged in the brine)
I canned them up, and we'd love to make more, but I think we're too far past cuke season to find another 20 lbs or so.  Next year we'll plant our own cucumbers!
I've also canned plum sauce, apple sauce, pear sauce and cinnamon spiced apple-pear sauce. 
not to mention plums and more pear sauce. A neighbor a few doors away appears to have packed up and left for the winter leaving trees just dripping with plums and pears, beautiful rosebushes and grapevines full of lovely grapes. I've been somewhat nervously helping myself to the spoils, but every time I go over there, I search for any sign that anyone's been back.  I'd just hate to take something that was still wanted!
From my Granny Helen's garden came bags and bags of green beans that we canned into dilly bean pickles. In two weeks we'll be able to see if that was successful or not.  
My family came for about a week just before school started. My brother Joe was here for just a day before my Dad drove him to Chelan to catch the boat to Holden where he'll be a boarding student for his senior year. Olaf and Grace and Loki the dog stayed with us, then Dad came back, then Mom came back from a Minnesota trip, and Caroline and her boyfriend Matt came down as well. So we had a lovely few days with a packed house!
Julia adores the school and longs to play for hours in each classroom. 
Block towers in the sun with Olaf. 
Olaf let Julia brush his hair but it didn't slow down his plane-building intensity.  Dave's legos were a big hit. Julia adored having Olaf and Gracie around those few days. After they left, we had to have several conversations about where they went and when they will come back. Julia is very rational about saying goodbyes, but I try to be perfectly clear with her about who is coming and when they are leaving to make it less stressful on her, especially since she gets worried that we will leave too. 
We swam every day, in the river and in the little spring fed swimming hole. 
It was absolutely freezing!

we farmer's marketed. 
we christened the new Grill and Dave cooked the first of many feasts. 
We planted a bit of kale and chard, and got a few row covers to begin our  dabbles in late season gardening. 

Caroline dyed Grace's hair,  from purple to brown, so she'd look all respectable when she went to Spain to nanny. Now she's there, and she's blogging here if you want to read about it.
I nearly cut off my thumb. well, just the tip, but  wow was I lucky that it wasn't lower, or I may have hit bone. I went quite a ways into the nail bed with a razor sharp knife but thankfully pressure stopped the bleeding fast and I got away without stitches. It was actually a rather nice accident, since it forced me to sit down and let everyone else do everything. I got to relax a lot more than I tend to do when entertaining hords of folks. 
Nothing like Momma Dawn cooking!
more swimming!
more gardening. 
We said goodbye to my family, and school started. Dave's first week went very smoothly, and so is the second. My friends Erin and Mat came down for a little visit and it was great to hang out with them. Erin brought me a bunch of produce from her CSA and I cooked much of it up into a big pasta and salad dinner. lovely!!!  
After they left, we've just spent days getting caught up on chores, getting back into a routine of activities, facing the fact that my birthday has arrived yet again, and I am now to be 29. We went to church, at a neat little combined lutheran/methodist congregation. Julia went to the nursery by herself, for the first time and had a blast. the next day she and I went to Ikea to buy a bed frame and she went to smaland, the kid play center by herself for an hour. She was so disappointed to see me come to pick her up! She wanted to play more!  Julia and I read "Bernstein Bears and the Sitter" and after, she told me she wanted a sitter.  Well, what Julia wants, Julia gets. On Friday, Dave and I will go out to dinner to celebrate my birthday and she will have a babysitter! 
apples from a neighbor 
grapes from the (maybe) forbidden garden!
roses too!
pears, 1/16th of the bounty!
and Daddy and Julia, eating ice cream together at bedtime.
There's a nip to the air now. and this morning, I turned the heat on for a  bit.
Fall is my favorite season.

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